Ashton included in England rugby training squad

LONDON — Chris Ashton has edged toward reviving his England rugby career after being included in a 44-man preseason training squad that will gather outside London this weekend.

The 31-year-old Ashton has just ended his three-season contract at French team Toulon two years ahead of schedule in order to join Sale in the English Premiership.

He set a new try-scoring record for the Top 14 but his determination to add to the last of his 39 caps in 2014, combined with family reasons, inspired his return to England.

England coach Eddie Jones spoke to Ashton before the winger scored a hat trick of tries for the Barbarians against England in May and was quickly persuaded by his intent.

Jones says, "We had a quick chat and he had a bit of a glint in his eye, which indicated something and that something was that he wanted to come back to England. He wants to play for England and he sees this as his last opportunity so we're very pleased that he's made that decision."

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